Antimicrobial Copper Touch Surfaces - Reducing the Risk of Infection from the Environment
Presentation delivered at XXVIII Seminario de Ingeniería Hospitalaria, Malaga, Spain in October 2010.
There is now no doubt that copper and copper alloys possess the
strongest antimicrobial efficacy of all common materials under
normal indoor conditions. This has been demonstrated both in the
laboratory and, more pertinently, at a set of eight geographically
diverse clinical trials. The latest results, from Chile, and new
experiences from other trials will be reported here.
There is general acceptance that high environmental bioburden
will tend to increase infections but the case has, perhaps
surprisingly, to be proven. In 2010 the UK Department of Health
(DH) turned the spotlight on the influence of the environment on
the incidence of infection. However, DH estimate that a sample of
many thousand "beds" would be required to test such a hypothesis
for a single intervention; clearly unrealistic in a dynamic
hospital situation. A selected review of the existing evidence will
In the UK, there have been a small number of early adopters of
Antimicrobial Copper and a case study will be presented of one such
specialist unit, the brief being "to set the gold standard for
infection control". This will work through conception, choice,
installation and use to maintenance.
In order to support the understanding and deployment of copper
alloys, a technology-rich website has been developed to act as a
worldwide resource. This will be introduced and key areas for
Infection Control and Estates Teams will be highlighted.
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